Gesmundo on Independence Day: Rise, fight despite bigger enemies

Gesmundo on Independence Day: Rise and fight despite bigger enemies

/ 08:16 PM June 12, 2024

The enemy may be bigger and stronger. Still, Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, in his speech during the 126th Philippine Independence Day, said that being ready to rise and fight again is essential.

Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo (center) leads the commemoration of 126th anniversary of Philippine Independence at Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan City on June 12, 2024. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)

MANILA, Philippines — The enemy may be bigger and stronger, but Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, in his speech during the 126th Philippine Independence Day, said that being ready to rise and fight again is essential.

“Sa kahandaang bumangon at muling lumaban, sa ating sariling paraan, kahit alam nating mas malaki at mas malakas ang kalaban. Sa hindi pagsuko at patuloy na paninindigan kahit mahirap, kahit tagilid ang laban, kahit parang imposible ang tagumpay,” Gesmundo said in his speech during the 126th Independence Day Celebration. He led the celebration at the Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine in San Juan City.


(Being ready to rise and fight again, in our way, even though we know the enemy is bigger and stronger. Not giving up and continuing to stand firm even when it’s difficult, even when the odds are against us, even when victory seems impossible.)


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Paying homage to the heroes of the Battle of Pinaglabanan, the Chief Justice said despite a lack of military experience, the heroes of Pinaglabanan fought bravely against a formidable colonial power.

“Sa okasyong ito, pinagninilayan natin ang Kalayaan, Kinabukasan, at Kasaysayan. At ito, sa palagay ko, ang isa sa pinakamahalagang aral na iniwan sa atin ng mga bayani ng Pinaglabanan: na hindi madaling makamit ang kalayaan, at lalong hindi madaling pangalagaan at gawing ganap ito. Kailangan natin itong pagtrabahuhan. Kailangan natin magsakripisyo kung kailangan,” Gesmundo said in his speech at the Pinaglabanan Shrine.

(On this occasion, we reflect on Freedom, the Future, and History. And this is one of the most important lessons left to us by the heroes of Pinaglabanan: that freedom is not easily attained, and even more so, it is not easily maintained and realized. We need to work for it. We need to sacrifice if necessary.)

Executive Order 433, issued in 1961, recognizes the Battle of Pinaglabanan as one of the early uprisings against the Spaniards.

Gesmundo’s remarks came at a time when China’s assertive actions in the West Philippine Sea, including the construction of artificial islands and the harassment of Filipino fishermen, have raised significant concerns about the Philippines’ sovereignty and security.


“Lahat tayo, tinatawag na makiisa sa gawaing ito, ano man ang katayuan o larangan sa buhay; at lahat tayo, may maiaambag sa pagkamit at pangangalaga ng Kalayaan,”he said.

(All of us are called to join this endeavor, regardless of our status or field in life; and all of us have something to contribute to achieving and safeguarding freedom.)

The Independence Day ceremony at the Pinaglabanan Shrine featured the raising of the Philippine flag, the laying of wreaths, and a tour of the El Deposito Museum Museum. It was attended by prominent figures including San Juan City Mayor Francisco Javier M. Zamora, Vice Mayor Jose Angelo Agcaoili, and other local officials.

The Chief Justice also shared updates on the judiciary’s initiatives under the Court’s Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 (SPJI), emphasizing the judiciary’s role in upholding justice and the rule of law.

“Marami na tayong natupad at napagtagumpayan sa iba’t ibang mga proyekto at aktibidad ng planong ito,” he said, highlighting ongoing judicial reforms aimed at creating a more efficient and accessible justice system.

(We have already achieved and succeeded in various projects under this plan.)

Gesmundo then assured the public that the Supreme Court was doing its part toward upholding the spirit of Pinaglabanan.

“Ang layuning ito ng hudikatura, sigurado ako, bumabagtas hindi lang sa matagal nang panawagan ng ating mga kababayan ngayon, kundi hanggang sa mga pangarap ng mga bayani ng Pinaglabanan noon,” he said.

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(I am confident that this goal of the judiciary traverses not only the long-standing demands of our citizens today but also the aspirations of the heroes of the Battle of Pinaglabanan in the past.)

TAGS: Chief Justice Gesmundo, Philippine Independence Day

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